French used most in businesses in Luxembourg

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This article has a few numbers on the language preferences for businesses in Luxembourg, where French is in first place due in large part to a larger number of people from France and Belgium coming to work (3.5 times more than 20 years ago).

Cette présence de plus en plus forte de la langue française tient sans aucun doute au fait que les travailleurs frontaliers se sont vus multipliés par 3,5 sur les 20 dernières années. Les trois-quarts viennent de France et de Belgique...Un sondage réalisé auprès de "265 chefs et dirigeants d'entreprises actives dans l'ensemble des secteurs économiques du Luxembourg" place ainsi le français en tête des langues au Luxembourg. En effet, 55.8% des entreprises interrogées utilisent le français comme langue principale. Le luxembourgeois arrive en deuxième place avec 20%, puis suivent l'anglais à 17.7% et l'allemand à 4.9%. Le français se trouve, avec 68,2% en tête des langues parlées au travail par les résidents, suivi du luxembourgeois, à 60.5%.
Since Luxemburgish is so close to German I always just add them together. So 55.8% French, 24.9% German or almost German, then English at 17.7%.

I've been taking a close look at the situation of German-speaking Belgium over the past few weeks, considering Belgium's constitutional crises it always seems to face every few years, because were Flanders and Wallonia to ever go their separate ways the question of German-speaking Belgium is always one that remains unanswered. That part of Belgium used to be part of the German Empire, and in the event of a breakup there is little reason to suspect that it would choose to join Wallonia, or France. The three possibilities usually mentioned are:

1) Become an independent micro-state
2) Join Germany
3) Join Luxembourg

Option 3 is apparently appealing because of the higher salaries and pensions in Luxembourg compared to Germany. On the other hand, even a tiny region of just 70,000 people would be a big addition to a country of that size, and could turn it from a 'half French, half German, 100% Luxembourgish' kind of atmosphere into more of a stronger German, Holy Roman Empire successor state kind of feel.

Or not. Corrections are welcome if this assumption is wrong.

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